Some troubles at local polls this morning after a man says he got a pre-marked ballot.
Bruce Lloyd says he went to his Kitchener-Centre polling station like normal, showed his ID, saw the volunteer tear off a ballot, fold it and initial it.
However, Lloyd says when he got behind the privacy screen and opened his ballot, the conservative candidate was already marked.
“Guy hands me the ballot, and he’s folded it for me. I got back to the cardboard screen, I unfold it, and there’s an ‘X’.” Lloyd tells us he folded it, “and go back to the guy who handed me the ballot, and he looks at it, shows it to the other guy, and they say a couple words to each other jokingly like ‘it’s been a busy day’ kind of thing. And then he says this is a bad ballot and hands me another one.”
We brought this situation to the attention of Elections Canada returning officer for that station, Patricia LePage. She said she was unaware of any pre-marked ballots that would have prompted an investigation.
Dugald Maudsley Regional Media Advisor with Elections Canada released a statement to 570 News saying:
“A ballot that is improperly printed or has been damaged during the production is considered a spoiled ballot. These ballots are not placed in the ballot box. They are marked as spoiled by the deputy returning officer and set aside in a Spoiled Ballot Envelope. Electors who receive a spoiled ballot will be given another one by the deputy returning officer. However an elector may only receive one additional ballot in this circumstance. At the close of the polls, spoiled ballots are counted by the deputy returning officer before opening the ballot box. Spoiled ballots do not count towards the total of valid ballots cast for the polling station.
If an elector has a concern that their ballot might have been “pre-marked” they can take their concern directly to the Central Poll Supervisor who is in charge of each polling place.”
You can also file a complaint online.